December 24th, i.e. Christmas Eve, is over now. Here in Germany, Christmas Eve is the main event, while Christmas Day and Boxing Day are the time for family visits, eating too much food and hangovers.
The snow fall has stopped by now, at least in my region, but we still have a lot of snow on the ground and frost. Luckily, none of us had to leave the house today.
We spent Christmas Eve pretty much like every year. For lunch we had roasted filet of hare with apple cranberry sauce, roasted mushrooms and brussels sprouts. Apparently, we ended up with two vegetable side dishes, because the brussels sprouts were in the pantry and needed to go.
For dinner on Christmas Eve and every night until New Year’s Eve we always have herring salad made according to my grandma’s recipe. The resulting amount of salad is huge and it generally lasts at least until New Year’s Eve, by which time you’re usually heartily sick of it and happy that you don’t have to eat it again for a whole year. I still like it, though, and would probably also make it, if I were spending Christmas on my own. Filled into jam jars, it also makes a great gift.
Photos of the Christmas tree and presents are forthcoming.
And now for the night’s loot, behind the cut:
For my Mom (those presents were given together with my Dad, but he isn’t good about holiday shopping, so I bought them)
Nachtgeister (Nightlife) by Rob Thurman (Rob Thurman is one of my favourite literary discoveries of recent times)
Ein feuriger Verehrer a.k.a. Conspiracy in Death by J.D. Robb
Die Zahlen der Toten a.k.a. Sworn to Silence by Linda Castillo
Tödlicher Verehrer/Mitternachtsmorde, a two-in-one edition of Killing Time and Dying to Please by Linda Howard
For my Dad: A plastic box with several drawers which serves as an office organizing/filing system from Staples
For both parents together:
A plate with crocheted cookies, handmade (the cookies, not the plate)
For my aunt and uncle:
A USB-drive, because you can never have enough
A pewter candleholder (reproduction of a Charles Rennie Mackintosh design)
Cookies from the local bakery
For the neighbour’s kid:
The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan. The boy is 14 and likes reading in English and Riordan’s style is accessible for ESL students.
For another neighbour’s kid:
A bag of Kinder Surprise eggs
Lots of books, which is exactly what I’d asked for what I’d asked for.
The Grimrose Path and Chimera by Rob Thurman (like I said, one of my favourite author discoveries)
Bayou Moon by Ilona Andrews
Warrior and Stranger by Zoe Archer. Archer writes swashbuckling, somewhat steampunky romances and has gotten a lot of good reviews of late. Warrior and Stranger are two installments in her Blades of the Rose series. I found Stranger particularly intriguing – also with regards to the PhD – because it features an African American hero and a white heroine.
The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook. More Steampunk romance, again with great reviews.
Unholy Ghosts by Stacia Kane. Another author I discovered during my PhD research and enjoy very much.
Bone Gods by Caitlin Kittredge. I’ve been looking forward to this one very much, because I love the Black London series.
Total Eclipse by Rachel Caine. The grand finale of the Weather Warden series and another book I’ve been looking forward to very much.
Queen of Shadows by Dianne Sylvan, first in a new urban fantasy that sounds interesting
A wall calendar with pretty pictures and Zen sayings
A chocolate Santa Claus
Now, my parents have gone to bed and I am left to my own devices. I came across Die Hard on late night TV, which is one of those holiday staples that the “Keep Christmas free from violent TV” advocates really hate. Never mind that it actually is a Christmas movie and probably one of my favourites at that.
Before going to bed, I’m going to rewatch Coasting, a little known British TV show, that’s one of my all-time favourites. It has seven episodes and therefore is ideal for “between the years” watching, because you can watch one episode per day, starting on Christmas Eve and finishing on New Year’s Night. I’m not a fan of marathon watching, because individual episodes tend to blend into each other.